How to Use Mind Mapping to Generate Article Ideas


With all the emphasis on content marketing, many small business owners are at a loss as to how they can consistently turn out well written content.  Perhaps they should use a technique known as mindmapping in order to generate powerful ideas for their written content.

What is Mindmapping?

Mindmapping is a free-form graphical technique that allows you to write down your ideas and concepts in a hub and spoke design.  It breaks away from the typically linear fashion of making lists or writing down ideas in a step by step manner.  Other terms that are used for mindmapping are spidergraphs, idea sunbursting and  web ideas. Its purpose is to allow the user to generate ideas without the constraints of worrying about having to organize them, the way we are often taught in grammar school and English classes.  Ouch, yes, my English teacher would be very unhappy reading this!

Mindmapping is said to boost the thinking process because it follows the way the brain thinks or what some scientist believe natural cognitive processes.  Since it supports the user’s ability to connect concepts in a non-linear manner, most people who use this technique are able to develop powerful ideas than they otherwise would have using traditional methods.

According to Wikipedia, “the term “mind map” was first popularized by British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan when BBC TV ran a series hosted by Buzan called Use Your Head.  In this show, and companion book series, Buzan enthusiastically promoted his conception of radial tree, diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure.”

What Are Its Uses?

There are a multitude of uses for mind maps.

  • Notetaking
  •  Brainstorming
  •  Studying and Memorization
  •  Researching and compiling information from several sources
  •  Writing – Developing concepts or connections

 How to Draw a Mind Map

These are the basic instructions on how to create a mind map.

-Start in the middle of a paper with a drawn shape or object and write down your main topic. Most mind map aficionados suggest you use the paper in landscape format. Use whatever shape that you want to use ovals, squares, triangles or diamonds are all fine. There are no hard and fast rules as to what shape you should be drawing or how well you need to draw.  So, don’t be concerned if you are not artistically inclined or blessed with graphic design talent.

-Using spokes or branches extend these lines out from the middle and write down one idea, preferably using a one word or two word phrase to list your sub-topic.

-From here, you repeat the process, extending spokes as third level sub-topics to the sub-topics above.

Note:  There will be no overbearing teacher to grade your mind maps, the whole point is to get your ideas down on paper and later you select which ones to develop or eliminate.

Mindmapping Technique to Develop Article Ideas

Using the process outlined above, write your main topic in the center point circle or shape.  From there begin to branch out and include subtopics that may come to mind that support your main idea.   If you get stuck, go to the internet and run a search on the main idea or keyword you are using.  At the bottom of the Google search page, you will find a list of keywords that begin with “Searches Related to…”.

With this list you can find, subtopics that you can add to your original idea and keep drilling down into further subtopics.  You may find as you use this process that you will come up with several ideas for articles rather than just one!

Tips to Make Your Mind Maps Rock

  • Use colors, images, doodles, etc.
  • Develop your ideas and illustrate them as much as you want. Draw happy faces,  arrows whatever fits for the idea you are developing.

 Mindmapping Business Tools

This concept has become so popular in business that there are many software tools available to purchase on the internet.  Companies such as Mindmapping, MindTools and ThinkBuzan offer  free downloadable software apps to help you get started.  They also offer other tools to help you use imaging software for mindmaps that you can use for presentations or group mindmapping.  Think Buzan offers free downloadable software for personal use.  The image below is an example of their imaging software tool.














Although the software mentioned above are great tools, you don’t need them to get started using this technique.  Just get started with a pen and some paper and get your next article written in half the time.


4 Ways to Revise Your Article and Make It Pop!

steel nib pen
You have completed your article and reviewed it, but it either doesn’t reach the minimum word count that you were striving for or you just don’t like the flow of your article.
What can you do at this point to improve your article?  I suggest that you think, A.R.R.R. .   No, I am not suggesting that you pretend to be a pirate, but rather to recall the acronym A.R.R.R. which (your English teacher probably mentioned this formula in your high school English Composition class) stands for the “revision” stage of writing, specifically–Adding, Arranging, Removing or Replacing.
After writing your article, you are ready to revise what you have written. This step doesn’t apply to every article you write, but just to those that don’t seem to flow well when you read them. In this case, you might want to remove whole sections, rewrite entire paragraphs, and add in information which you’ve realized the reader will need to know to understand the points you have made in your article.
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